FAIR POINT: Should you stay slim for your man?

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Jack Spratt could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean.

We know how the nursery rhyme goes.

And in childhood we imagined he and Mrs Spratt lived in perfect harmony, eating their platters clean while he stayed a Slim-Jack and she just got porkier and porkier.

In reality, though, can a relationship survive when one partner gains weight?

In theory, size shouldn’t matter and you should love each other til death by Type Two diabetes do you part.

Only it doesn’t often work out that way.

Attraction wanes. Not least because the partner struggling with weight issues feels unattractive and feels ashamed of their lack of willpower.

Was that what one fashion guru, a founder of London Fashion Week, was making a ham-fist of saying when he entered into the Size Zero debate this week?

Ironically, Achilleas Constantinou was on the right side of a hugely important issue that has the potential to affect every impressionable young girl.

He was condemning the catwalk’s portrayal of skinny, ill-looking waifs as the height of glamour.

Constantinou has long campaigned against what he calls the “endemic eating disorders that run like a cancer through the fashion industry”.

“What has been happening on the catwalk for years is highly irresponsible,” he says.

“Diseases like anorexia have had a devastating effect on today’s youth and there can be no denying that the fashion world and the ‘role models’ it promotes are partly to blame”.

He knows this from painful first-hand experience.

His niece, who is now 42, has battled the disease since the age of 15 and her love of fashion was a root cause of her problems.

Constantinou was urging the British fashion industry to follow Israel’s lead and not simply talk the talk, but introduce a law banning skinny models from the catwalk and in advertisements - and to set a Size Eight as modelling’s standard.

It was all going so well.

But then inherent chauvinism went and got in the way.

He announced that women should aim not to be super-skinny, but slim - to please their men.

Constantinou believes ‘being a healthy weight for one’s partner is a consideration all women should consider.’

Can he not see that he is still asking women to conform to an image other people expect of them?

I agree that within a relationship, there is a responsibility to maintain your attractiveness to your partner.

But that goes for both sexes.

And most important of all is the responsibility we each must take for our own health and and our self-worth.

We shouldn’t stay slim to keep our men.

But we do owe it to them to live long and healthy lives with them.